A $2,490 wi-fi podcasting equipment is absurd, however at the least Nomono’s sounds nice

“A $3,000 podcasting equipment, on this financial system?” That was my first thought once I realized about Nomono’s transportable recording setup last year. Since then, the value has dropped barely to $2,490. However my foremost concern stays: Who wants this factor when you may get a small audio recorder and lavalier mics for a lot much less? Nonetheless, I used to be intrigued.

Nomono’s equipment consists of 4 wi-fi lav mics, in addition to an area recorder for room tone and spatial knowledge, all of which cost in a conveyable carrying case. Your recordings are robotically uploaded to Nomono’s cloud service, the place you possibly can optimize their audio high quality (and ultimately edit them in your browser). As somebody who’s been podcasting frequently since 2008, the notion of an all-in-one equipment that may simply deal with native recordings feels like an absolute dream. Nomono’s equipment has the potential to be one thing the podcasting trade has wanted for years, however can the corporate justify its extremely excessive value?

Gallery: Nomono podcasting equipment | 5 Images


Clearly, this is not a product aimed toward everybody — it is actually not for inexperienced persons, and I might argue it is past the scope of what most podcasters really need. However after testing Nomono’s equipment for a number of weeks, I can see the way it could possibly be useful for recording studios and corporations that want versatile podcasting options. It does not require a lot coaching to make use of, it delivers top quality recordings, and it may be deployed nearly anyplace. For these of us, spending $2,490 on Nomono’s equipment might make extra sense than having an engineer dedicate time to each single recording. Add in a cloud subscription, which may value as a lot as $29 a month, and it positively does not seem to be one thing for mere podcasting mortals.

You’ll be able to inform Nomono is striving for Apple-level design just by taking a look at its {hardware}. Although all the pieces is product of plastic, nothing feels low cost. The egg-like charging case has a fabric deal with on the prime in addition to a USB-C port. Its two halves snap along with safe clasps — flip these open, take off the highest and also you’re offered with 4 lavalier microphones across the house recorder. It is like an cute podcasting hen nest.

Picture by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

The house recorder serves because the hub for your entire Nomono expertise: It is a rectangular system that includes omnidirectional microphones for capturing room tone with spatial data (it could actually inform the place everyone seems to be situated throughout a dialog). There is a small display on the prime displaying the battery ranges of all of the related lavs, in addition to outstanding recording and directional buttons. On the facet, it encompasses a USB-C port and a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. As you are capturing audio, the house recorder takes in knowledge from the lav mics and uploads it to Nomono’s cloud as soon as your session is completed.

The lavaliers aren’t almost as distinctive: They’re small, indiscrete sq. pucks that includes 4 LED colours (useful for distinguishing every observe). They grip onto your garments with small magnets — making them straightforward to placed on, however doubtlessly simply as straightforward to slide off. The lavs by no means fell off throughout my testing, however I consistently nervous about knocking one off and shedding the tiny magnet. (Nomono consists of some extra magnets in its bundled accent equipment, which additionally has windscreen sleeves for the lavs and house recorder.)

Nomono podcasting kit

Picture by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Organising Nomono’s {hardware} was comparatively easy: After charging the case, I downloaded the Nomono Companion app, created an account, and paired the equipment to my telephone. The app reveals battery ranges for the lav mics and house recorder. To seize audio, you simply have to take away the house recorder and at the least one lav, then hit report. That course of was surprisingly quick and dependable — I used to be sometimes in a position to get recordings began in beneath 30 seconds.

Wrapping up a session is usually dependent in your web connection. It took beneath 60 seconds for a 90-minute recording to get uploaded, after which I needed to wait a number of extra minutes for Nomono’s cloud to course of the add. It was far quicker for brief recording checks, simply be ready to attend a bit should you’re planning to push a lot of audio. Nomono’s {hardware} delivers 16-bit 48kHz WAV information for every lavalier, in addition to an ambisonic WAV file (with as much as 4 tracks) from the house recorder.

The standard of these recordings are crisp and detailed even in barely noisy out of doors areas. The lavs do not sound almost as wealthy or nuanced as a premium dynamic or condenser microphone, however I did not actually count on them to. I might contemplate them on-par with different wi-fi lavaliers I’ve used throughout video manufacturing (our podcast editor, Ben Ellman, described the sound as being excellent for video shoots). A dialog with my spouse additionally sounded surprisingly clear, with not one of the crosstalk points or echoes I’ve encountered with cheaper multi-mic options.

A podcast recording featuring four people using Nomono's wireless kit.

Nomono

To offer your recordings a bit extra polish, Nomono additionally gives three ranges of enhancement by means of its cloud platform: on the sunshine finish, it encompasses a high-pass filter, cross-talk discount, notch EQ filter, de-noising and de-essing (for eradicating harsh “S” sounds and different sibilants). Medium enhancement provides loudness normalization, a tone-shaping EQ and adaptive degree, whereas full enhancement goes even heavier on the latter two options. When you can nonetheless obtain pure, unfiltered tracks, these enhancements are helpful for the much less audio savvy.

Finally, you possibly can select to spatialize your recording by means of Nomono’s on-line platform, which makes every audio observe sound like they’re coming from completely different instructions (relying on the place the house recorder was positioned in the course of the session). That characteristic wasn’t obtainable whereas I used to be testing the equipment, and to be trustworthy, it is also not one thing I might ever think about using in a podcast. 

Nomono’s full audio enhancement did a good job of chopping down freeway sounds and different avenue noise whereas I used to be recording in entrance of my native Starbucks (see above), nevertheless it additionally made my voice sound a bit tinny and compressed. Principally, do not count on any miracles. Whereas It is helpful to have easy methods to chop down background noise, you will nonetheless have to discover a comparatively quiet recording house to seize the perfect audio. (In any other case, why even purchase such an costly podcasting equipment?!)

The corporate plans to launch its on-line editor by the tip of 2023, which may additionally doubtlessly embody the flexibility to edit spatial recordings. Since this isn’t precisely a shopper resolution, I’d wager that most individuals shopping for Nomono’s {hardware} have already got extra refined methods to edit audio.

This is a comparability of Nomono’s lavalier versus the Rode Procaster XLR microphone: 

Whereas Nomono’s {hardware} principally impressed me, its on-line platform made it robust to cope with bigger information. It took over 5 minutes for it to organize a 90 minute observe for obtain (together with its bundled spatial audio file). And that didn’t embody the time it took to truly seize the file, which might be dependent in your web connection. I perceive the enchantment of a seamless on-line audio resolution, nevertheless it’s annoying once I know it will be quicker to only seize a file from a tool sitting proper on my desk. 

The house recorder didn’t present up on my Mac or PC once I related to it, sadly. Nomono representatives say the corporate is planning to make offline options obtainable subsequent 12 months, however for now, it is targeted on a cloud-based workflow as a result of they imagine it is the “most handy and time-efficient” resolution for customers. That additionally means livestreaming is out of the query with this equipment, although it might present up in a future Nomono product, the corporate tells me.

I’d have a a lot simpler time justifying Nomono’s excessive value if I knew I may use its {hardware} with out counting on an internet site. This isn’t my first time on the gadget startup rodeo: What good is that this $2,490 recording equipment if the corporate goes out of enterprise in a 12 months or two?

Nomono podcasting kit

Picture by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

It’s clear that Nomono has developed one thing particular, nevertheless it’s exhausting to think about this recording equipment being the one resolution for an audio-savvy firm. You’ll nonetheless have to have a devoted podcasting house with hard-wired microphones. What Nomono gives is flexibility: What if you should report in one other room, in another person’s workplace, or at a resort? In these conditions, a self-contained $2,490 podcasting equipment won’t appear so wild.

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